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How to Do Stuff with Little to No Motivation

A Guide for Unmotivated People

By Rene PetersPublished 2 years ago 3 min read
How to Do Stuff with Little to No Motivation
Photo by Christina @ on Unsplash

This piece was inspired by a very recent therapy session...


I did not want to attend therapy, despite knowing I need it to control so many aspects of my life... Bipolar disorder, functional neurological disorder, and anxiety are the main ones. I sent an email to my therapist asking if we could cancel because it was a rough morning in neurology for me. He asked if I would like to elaborate and I said sure because I'm me. I simply can't skip therapy due to not feeling up to it... Can I?

What was my experience like proceeding to do it when I felt as though there was no other choice?

It was the longest 50-minute session I have ever had. However, I didn't regret going in the end. Why? I learned stuff about myself that I would have never otherwise realized. For example, I didn't realize there is a part of me that is ambitious but also guilt-driven.

How did I make it through the whole 50 minutes?

He just kept asking questions, expecting a response from me. Answering questions, rather than talking about situations going on with me, actually made it more tolerable. However, I was still annoyed that he made me talk to him. All I wanted was to sleep all day.

What are some of my tips?

1. Figure out why you do not want to do whatever the action is. If this means talking to someone to better understand yourself, do it.

2. Think about a potential reward system, often used to get children to listen but I still reward myself when I get a goal (small or big) accomplished.

3. If possible, take frequent, but short, breaks. For example, if you are cleaning, clean for 30 minutes then take a 10-minute break. If you can not take breaks, don't panic. There is most likely something that will help in this list (or even on Google).

4. Think of the difference you could make. If it is a work meeting that you really do not want to go to, think of what ideas you might be able to contribute. If it is something smaller, like cleaning, think of the difference in how you could feel.

5. Think about the example you could be setting for people who like to follow you, such as children, a spouse, friends, or other family members. If they see you do something which you don't particularly want to do, they may be more willing to do tasks that they are not looking forward to just to be like you (especially children, whether they are yours or not).

6. With something such as a work meeting, where they want ideas, ask for constructive feedback, and give others the same thing. Staying involved will likely help the time go by quicker.

7. This may seem obvious but if you need help, ask for it. Your room or house looks like a tornado went through it? Ask someone you can trust to help you without judging what it looks like.

8. Practice gratitude, not only with others but also with yourself. People often criticize what they say, do, and think. It is very rare for someone to say, "I'm thankful that I thought of this."

9. Prioritize what needs to be done. Can it wait? If the answer is yes, do not begin that task until all the tasks which cannot wait are completely done. For example, if you're cleaning your room, what is more important: the area surrounding your TV or your bed? Most people would say your bed, so start there and, as stated earlier, take frequent breaks or you may get burnt out too quickly.

I hope this advice (along with examples) helps at least one person. If you enjoyed reading it, feel free to read some of my other lists with explanations. There are quite a few to check out.

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About the Creator

Rene Peters

I write what I know, usually in the form of poetry. I tend to lean towards mental health, epilepsy, and loss/grieving.

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (2)

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  • Donna Reneeabout a year ago

    Very good and applicable info!

  • Excellent , well written and well presented. Think a lot of people will find this helpful

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